Volunteers joining the Medical and Healthcare Program in South Africa work in healthcare clinics and centers located in Cape Town as well as suburban community areas. Day hospitals and health care centers provide medical care to the local community members.
These are facilities for the poorer people or people who in general can't afford private medical care. The services provided are of a minor nature and they cater for out-patients. No major operations are performed here. Various awareness and support programs are also offered at the clinics. Some of these include HIV / AIDS awareness, special childcare and healthy living (nutrition) as day-to-day medical care.
Counseling services are also offered at these centers. The medical staff includes nurses, doctors, social workers, and counselors, etc. This is an amazing opportunity for medical students practitioners looking for international work experience.
Volunteers can also concentrate on other areas within the clinic; such as special awareness and information programs. Counseling sessions and programs are also offered and medical volunteers can observe and get some exposure in this area. This is a very challenging environment but would offer an opportunity to assist in various areas within the clinic.
It is important that medical volunteers first get acquainted with the environment and assist wherever help is required. Also, keep in mind that some of these centers are understaffed and might seem chaotic at times. Busy times will vary and you should be willing to adapt in these instances. Volunteers are also expected and encouraged to use their initiative at the project.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project. Participants should have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Medical volunteers must provide a clean criminal background check report, CV as well as other documents pertaining to their qualifications prior to joining the program.
Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
Volunteer tasks under the medical and healthcare program in South Africa may vary and depend on the level of experience, qualifications,medical training etc. If you have experience in the medical or health profession you might do tasks and activities which include the following:
- Wound dressing under direct supervision of nursing staff.
- Blood pressure, pulse and temperature measurements (if competent).
- Assist patients with activities such as getting them from one service point to another.
- Weighing patients, holding babies/adults to be weighed.
- General assistance to the medical staff wherever required, and wherever experience and expertise allow.
- Pre Medical students assist the local doctors and staff in doing basic tasks such as checking weight and temperature of the patients, cleaning wounds and also doing administrative tasks in the placement.
Note: Your task and duty summary sheet may change upon arrival at your project.
Volunteer Work Schedule
A typical volunteer schedule in Cape Town depends on the accommodation provided to the volunteers. Volunteering Solutions provide accommodation in Cape Town with a local host family or a at a volunteer house; depending upon the availability of rooms. Volunteers, too, are given a choice to choose from the two kinds of accommodations. While the volunteer house is located in the city area, the host family resides on the outskirts of the mainland Cape Town. The schedule for the volunteers remains as follows;
- Sunday - Arrival at Cape Town (all volunteers stay in volunteer house for the first day)
- Monday - Orientation + transfer to the respective accommodations. Orientation session will be conducted by the local coordinator, covering topic areas; such as safety, culture, language, places to visit, behaviour, food, and other suggestion over things to do in South Africa, Cape Town.
- Tuesday to Fri - Volunteer work
- Breakfast - 06:30 am to 07:30 am (provided at the accommodation)
- Leave for the project - 07:30 am
- Working hours at the placement - 08:00 am to 03:00 pm
- Lunch - 12:30 pm to 02:00 onwards (volunteers staying in the volunteer house need to manage lunch on their own)
- Dinner - 06:00 pm onwards (at host family accommodation)
Volunteers living at volunteer house accommodation will be served
dinner at a near by restaurant between 05:30 pm to 07:00 pm (strictly)
The same volunteer work schedule continues from the second week onwards
Weekends - Free to explore the city, and do activities such as;
Note: Please note, the schedule may vary depending on the particular project the volunteer is participating on.
Volunteering Solutions makes great efforts to provide best of living standards to its volunteers. In Cape Town, our international volunteers are picked up from the airport and put in volunteer houses or with host families, equipped with all modern amenities. We also make sure that we help our volunteers with their local requirements, sightseeing or weekend tours.
Volunteers are picked up from the Cape Town International Airport by a representative and transferred to the volunteers hostel accommodation by a shuttle transfer. Those volunteers who are arriving overland or are already in South Africa will have to arrive at the accommodation on own and will not be provided with a pickup.
A half day orientation will be provided by the local staff on the program start date. The orientation would cover topics such as introduction to the program,General information about South Africa,Safety Tips / Guidelines,customs,health guidelines, communities, projects, host families, support services, travel and tours.Participants also receive a Walking City Tour which is a 2 hour walk around the City Centre area.
Volunteering Solutions arranges accommodation for volunteers in a Volunteer hostel or in home stays in local communities. The Volunteer hostel is a dormitory-style accommodations situated in Observatory area of Cape Town.The rooms in the hostel typically have 4-8 people per room.The Observatory accommodation is located in a beautiful suburb of Cape Town, about 20 minutes from the city center. The hostel is perfectly situated close to shops, restaurants, public transport, and some of the best beaches in the world! The areas are also very safe.
Living in the hostel is a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” because you will meet and live with more than 20 other volunteers from all over the globe. It’s a great opportunity to make lifelong friends and learn about different cultures. Each day you will travel to your project, usually by mini-bus taxi which is a very cheap and efficient way to travel in Cape Town, and is also a lot of fun! After you finish your project for the day you usually spend your evenings doing different activities with the other volunteers in the house like, movie nights in the lounge or having a braai, which is a South African barbeque.
When staying with a host family while volunteering in South Africa you will live in one of the local communities of Cape Town. There you will experience life of a typical South African family which will be a great cultural experience. You will travel a short distance to your project in the morning and in the evenings you will spend time bonding with your host family. On the weekends you can either spend your leisure time with your host family or book yourself into a backpacker in town to explore the city centre during the day and experience Cape Town night life.
Volunteers staying at the hostel accommodation are provided with 2 meals a day (Breakfast & Dinner) from Monday to Friday. Breakfast usually consists of eggs, cereals, fruit, toast, tea/coffee, etc. and dinner at a contracted restaurant located within 5 minute walk from the house, where a set, wholesome meal is provided to each volunteer on a daily basis.If you have any special dietary needs, please inform us in advance. Please note that no meals are provided on the day of arrival and during the day of orientation.
For those staying in a host family, you will be provided 3 meals a day, prepared by your host. Breakfast before your project, a packed lunch to take with you and a delicious home cooked meal for dinner.
During your Free Time
Cape Town has so much to offer for travellers and there is a lot to do on the weekends and during the free time. Volunteers usually take the Garden Route tours on the weekend or explore the beautiful beaches of Cape Town. You can also do a full day Cape Point Tour and head south to Cape of Good Hope. On a free day you can do a trek upto Table Mountain or just chill out at the Waterfront area. There is a lot to do and you will never have a dull day in the beautiful city of Cape Town.
Please Note: -An application fee of £149 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of €169 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% banking fee is charged at the time of payment)
What are you Paying for?
- 24 hrs Assistance and support from Staff
- Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information
- Airport Pickup from Cape Town International Airport
- Accommodation in Volunteer house or host family
- Travel & Medical Insurance (Available at an extra cost)
- 100% Financial Protection
- UK Based Support
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- Visa Fee
- Return Airport Drop(Can be arranged at extra cost)
- Local Transportation
FAQ's Application and Program Details
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project.
Volunteers joining the medical volunteer project must be either Pre-Medical, Medical or Nursing student or possess other qualifications related to medical and nursing field such as CNA or EMT. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome to join the program.
The participants need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
Clean Criminal Background Check Report for participants joining Childcare and Teaching Projects.
The participant must be in good health.
The assigned driver from a backpacker airport pickup service would be waiting for you with a signboard in the arrivals area and you would then be transferred to a hostel accommodation in the city. A brief orientation session takes place on Monday morning.
Volunteers in Cape Town work in the city as well as in many different community suburbs such as Grassy Park, Athlone, Philippi, Mitchells Plain, and Belville. Projects are located close to city center as well as in suburban areas and townships.
Flights and Visa
All participants joining the South Africa volunteer projects for more than 90 days, need to apply for volunteer visa at the nearest South African Embassy or Consulate. Along with the visa application, you need to attach the required supporting documents. Volunteers are provided with the necessary supporting document for their South African visa application. More detailed information shall be provided after you become a Volunteering Solutions’ enrolled participant.
South African Airways, KLM Dutch Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, British Airways, Lufthansa, Kenya Airways, Condor Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Air France and Singapore Airlines are? some of the major airlines that have direct connections to Cape Town.
Health and Safety
If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
Accommodation and Living
Connect with Past Volunteers
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit ?the Meet a Volunteer page on our website.